U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is preparing to testify before
Congress Wednesday on security failures associated with last September's
attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed
four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary Clinton will
focus on what U.S. diplomats are doing to put in place recommendations
from an Accountability Review Board investigation into the Benghazi
"You will recall that she pledged not only to accept all 29 of the
recommendations, but to have the implementation of those recommendations
well under way before her successor took over. So I think she will want
to give a status on that," Nuland said.
The independent review found what it called "profoundly weak" security
at the Benghazi compound and a "pervasive realization" among people who
served there "that the special mission was not a high priority for
Washington when it came to security."
lawmakers on the congressional committees before which Clinton will
appear have questioned why U.S. diplomats were in Benghazi last
September 11, given documented concern about security there.
There was also political fallout over the Obama administration initially
blaming the violence on Islamist protests and not on a terrorist attack
as has now been established.
From the start, Nuland says, Secretary Clinton has taken responsibility
for what went wrong. "There was no question at any point in those
statements that she considered it her responsibility to learn the
lessons from this and to take the Department forward," Nuland said.
This likely will be Secretary Clinton's last congressional testimony
before stepping down as secretary of state. She was to have answered
these questions back in December, but was excused after fainting at home
while recovering from a stomach virus.